DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES: A Natural History


DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES: A Natural History

DENNIS PAULSON    Book Number: 89988    Product format: Hardback

That sudden dart of blue by the side of the path on a country walk in summer is always such a pleasure, but how many of us know that the order Odonata currently has 6,308 described species, occurring on all continents except Antarctica? There are two major groups, Dragonflies and Damselflies, though the terminology is often confused in different language-systems. With six legs and two pairs of wings they frequent freshwater habitats. Carnivorous predators themselves, they are eaten by fishes, amphibians, mammals and each other. Their chief claim on human interest is aesthetic, and the over species of 6000 odonates have long featured as an element in decoration, while the word dragonfly is a popular brand name in the business world. This comprehensive book considers their classification and evolution, their place in the chain of predation, mating, life cycle and their relationship with humans. Every section includes 11 species profiles, each delivering a full portrait of one branch of the family. The largest odonate is the Giant Petaltail from Queensland, Australia, whose female can have a wing-span of almost six and a half inches. One of the larger damselflies is the Great Spreadwing, found in north America and laying its eggs high up in tree branches, with a strong ovipositor mechanism for inserting the egg into the bark. Odonates mate in flight or at rest, but the copulatory organs are different in damselflies and dragonflies. The Violet Dropwing, common in Africa, has one of the quickest hatching times for larvae at 52 days. Its mixed purple and red colouring make it one of the most spectacular species. This book is beautifully illustrated and forms a comprehensive natural history resource. 223pp, glossary, resources, numerous colour photos. 25 x 22cm.
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Published price: £25
Bibliophile price: £10.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9781782405634
Browse this category: Nature/Countryside

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